22 May 2008
Anyway, decided that i will share some of the things that we have learnt in our first 12 weeks of being parents:
1. Learn to put the baby down to sleep - as in put the baby down in the cot and help him learn to sleep there, rather than in your arms or in a bouncer etc.
2. Don't go into their room too early if crying - give them a chance to get themselves back to sleep as they will do it sometimes and you'll end up with a few more hours that you thought! Note - this one can backfire during daytime sleeps where if left too long, he will work himself up so much that he can't be settled again and he is crying so much he looks like his head will explode.
3. They don't have to be asleep to leave them in the cot - feeding to sleep in the early days was ok, but they need to learn to go to sleep by themselves, put them down, say good night and leave the room. They can get themselves off to sleep - well, sometimes!
4. Their own room - if you are at all a stress head like me, have them in their own room, they can be such noisy little creatures and you worry with every little sound. You do need to switch off sometimes and just sleep.
5. Dummies are not a bad thing - we use a dummy during the day, not for getting him to sleep but usually to settle him when he gets himself really worked up - and it works! I'm glad we don't use it for sleeping in a cot as i've heard lots of stories of kids who wake up constantly because they've lost their dummy.
6. Only buy the bare necesseties before the baby comes - people give you heaps of stuff. We got so many clothes, we really didn't need to buy much - also, it's good to see what it is you actually need rather than taking guesses. Think about the seasons also, we were given lots of 000 summer stuff, but by the time he got into 000 (just now) it was winter and i think he'll have grown out of them by the time it's warm enough to wear them.
7. Use a washing detergent for sensitive skin - we pre-washed all of his clothes before we went to hospital but just in ordinary detergent, then little spence developed a newborn rash and we were told we needed to wash everything in special detergent, so we were in hospital with a bunch of new clothes for him, none of which he could wear!
8. It does get easier - i really thought in those first few weeks 'how on earth can you look after a baby and ever have any sort of life again' - but it does get easier with each week. The baby learns to sleep and to just be in the world and you learn to do things as well.
9. Make contact with all those friends you lost contact with when they had kids - they know stuff and can offer really good support.
10. Get out for a walk - it's healthy for you, can help you get back into shape and it's really good for when the baby is cranky and won't sleep or even stop crying! It was my 4pm life saver for a while!
11. Set little goals for each day and be happy to achieve them - don't aim too high, one or two little goals each day is more than enough to handle. I don't mean goals with the baby, i mean household chores or other things you want to achieve. In the early days, just getting to the shop and back is a day long palava!
12. Take heaps of photos and video if you can - they change so quickly and it's awesome to be able to look back at everything. They are also just soooo cute!
I call it our brush with breastfeeding, but we did last four weeks. Given that it was four weeks of traumatized nipples that were too sore to even touch the tshirt i was wearing, rashes, mastitis, sleep deprivation, no weight gain for the baby, unsuccessful expressing, bottle top ups, nipple shields, sore and lumpy breasts - i think that we gave it a shot. Even the lactation consultant we were seeing was surprised we went for as long as we did. I can't say it was enjoyable, though i did feel sad to stop. Sad i guess that the one special thing that only i could do for the baby was ending, that the closeness of it was ending. I also felt relief - relief at the thought of being able to let my poor breasts heal, at the thought of having no pain anywhere in my body - for the first time in 10 months. I think for me, my painful experience of breastfeeding probably only detracted from this beautiful early time with our baby, prohibited the enjoyment i could have felt. Don't get me wrong - it was still an enjoyable time - but i think would have been more so if we didn't have such a nasty time of breastfeeding.
It's all history now though. We weaned at four weeks to bottles and Spence then thrived, finally getting the nutrition he needed he has now caught up to his expected weight and has really filled out. And me...the wean ended up being alot faster than we thought as Spence stopped taking the breast when we got down to 2 bottles and 4 breastfeeds per day - he no longer would take the breast and so our slow wean became an immediate wean. This was a painful week for me, but after the soreness went away, i felt a million bucks!
02 May 2008
Firstly, here is a pict of our new little man being brought into the world, Spencer Thomas Lush Young, born 4.02pm on March 13th, 2008:
What an amazing day that was! When i look at the pictures i can feel the amazing feelings that i had and wish i could have the day over and over again.
Given that it's been 7 weeks since then, i'll skim over the main bits of what's been going on just to get us back up to date. Life has just been so busy getting through this early time of parenthood that i didn't manage to blog my way through it - who would think such a little thing that supposedly just eats and sleeps can take up so much time, but i don't think i even turned the computer on for about three weeks after he was born!